We rely on your reports of any natural or wildlife related items of interest.
Please pass your reports to Iain or John. See our Contacts page for details.

Latest News

RESERVE VISITORS TAKE NOTE!
Farm gates are closed for a reason - if you open one to get through, CLOSE IT PROPERLY BEHIND YOU
. D
o NOT climb over gates or fences.
There has been a few occasions where gates were either left open or not fastened properly - one such causing considerable extra work for the farmer. We do not want such negiligence to occur in the future so please abide by the usual 'country code'. Visitors may either enter the field at the 'kissing gate' (about 100 yards down from the main road) or, if coming in at the finger post gate, rather than entering the big field an alternative route is to follow the line of trees alongside the reserve and enter via the stile.


If you wish to join our club (and new members are very welcome) you can download an application form from here. The form is in Microsoft Word format so should be readily viewable. The forms will also be available per the usual outlets.

Jock's well loved presentation "Birds of our Rivers, Hills & Moors" is still available on DVD, for the modest price of £5.00, from our local 'paper shop' (A M Grieves, Newsagents) on the High Street. If you cannot get one there, please contact John per our 'Contacts' page and we can get one to you.


Clicking on an image on our pages will give normally give an enlarged version (maximum 640 x 480 pixels approximately). Higher resolution images may be available on request (subject to the copyright holder's agreement) - contact John for details.


12th February 2017
The 2016 County Mammal Report (covering SW Scotland) has been sent to us by Andy Riches. You can view it here.

Iain's latest report -
7th January produced a Water Rail in the "stoorie burn" at the Reserve which was the first there for a while and there were also 12 Teal, 36 Mallard, 3 Grey Heron, male Kestrel, a Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 100 plus Chaffinch, a Willow Tit, Magpie and Jay. Roger Grant reported a Red Squirrel near St Anns bridge on the 11th and a Fox and 3 Roe Deer were at the Reserve with 29 Redwing, 27 Teal, 4 Pheasant , 2 Buzzard and a Willow Tit. Garry reported on the 13th that 2 Red Kites were above Ruxton's Dump up the Edinburgh Road and a belated report of a Barn Owl further up the valley a few days previous. At the Community Reserve on the 14th were 2 Mute Swans, 1 male Tufted duck, 14 Mallard, 7 Teal, 9 Little Grebe and 3 Moorhen. Apart from all the usual birds at the Reserve at least 1000 Pink Footed Geese flew over around 11am or tea time.....probably lasted until 11.30am.....Garry reported a pair of Smew on Fruid reservoir on the 16th which as an exceptional record. On the 18th at home at Park Circle waiting for Garry to pick me up there were in excess of 200 Chaffinch in the trees beside the foot bridge. At the Reserve 2 Goosanders flew past and the male Kestrel put in another welcome appearance. While delivering papers on the morning of the 20th I heard a few Wigeon flying overhead. On the morning of the 25th Alan Smith reported hearing an Oystercatcher passing over the town and 20 minutes later while delivering at Ettrick Drive I also heard one. At the Reserve that morning were 33 Teal, 43 Mallard, 6 Moorhen, a Mute Swan overhead and 800 plus Pinkfeet passing over. On 1st February at the Reserve were 30 each Teal and Mallard and on the Community Reserve were 10 Little Grebe, 12 Teal and 2 Grey Heron. On Sunday 5th John Smith had a Peregrine over his Greenwood Close garden and a single Goldcrest too. Bob McGoran reported a young/male Sparrowhawk sitting on his garden wall after a failed attack which provided good views and he said that he usually gets a female Sparrowhawk visiting his garden. Richard Bligh also reported an Oystercatcher at his workplace near Lockerbie on the 7th of the month.

Finally, a few more of Dave Bradshaw's photographs. The Long-tailed Tits were snapped in early January, the rest earlier this month. The Herring Gull seems to have got quite a feast!


Long-tailed Tits

Purple Sandpiper

Dunlin

Great Grey Shrike

Herring Gull
 


7th January 2017
We wish you all a very Good New Year!

A few items for you this time. We kick off with the latest summary from Iain -
On the 16th November at the Reserve were 20 Teal and good numbers of Fieldfare while on the 19th a female Reed Bunting was at Jocks Hide and 7 Whooper Swans were on the fields adjacent to the reserves. At the Community reserve on the 23rd were the usual Little Grebes, a Cormorant, a Kingfisher and 8 Teal. At our Reserve were 2 Willow Tits among very good numbers of other small woodland birds and 7 Moorhen. 2 Grey Heron and a Buzzard. Tom Thomson reported a male Bullfinch and a Pheasant among his garden birds and I heard some Wigeon flying over the town at night on the 27th. On 1st December Lesley Robson from Hillside Terrace reported a single Brambling and a pair of Bullfinch and the following day Dave Bradshaw reported 45 Waxwings at Heathall. On 3rd December Garry Tait saw a flock of 28 Waxwings in Dumfries town centre. In the morning at the Reserve were 16 Teal and a male Kestrel with 3-4 skeins of Pinkfeet moving overhead. While out delivering papers on the morning of the 5th I saw 3 Goosanders flying over Dowding House. On the 14th Alan Beavan and his wife reported seeing up to 6 different Red Squirrels at Craigielands and up to 5 Buzzards up the Crooked Road area. Mathew White reported an Otter up at Craigieburn on the 15th and, the day after, John Smith had unusually large numbers of Blue Tits feeding on a bush in his garden at Greenwood Close while a Brambling put in an appearance the following day. Garry Tait, while passing the Loch of the Lowes, saw a family of 7 Whooper Swans and a Slavonian Grebe, which was noteworthy, and they stayed for a while. Richard Clarkson reported 8 Waxwings at Ecclefechan on the 19th while at the Reserve on the 21st were 24 Mallard and a count of 49 Teal which was excellent and there were still over 40 Teal around on the 28th though they move when the Reserve wetland is frozen. On the final day of the year while working at the Reserve the full gang of five.....comprising myself, Garry. John, Jon and Doug.....saw a good flock of 150 plus Siskins and 40 Mallard while on the way back to his van near the Water Bore Hole a small group of 5 Waxwing were spotted by Garry which was a great way to finish off 2016. While speaking to Dougie McMillan in the shop on the 3rd January he was telling me that he had seen up to 8 Woodcock at Lawesknowe which was a good count. Our first visit to the Reserve on the 4th saw the wetland ponds mostly frozen and a count of 10 Teal were using the ditches for feeding and a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were displaying and chasing each other up the Orchard area of the Reserve.

And some sighting reports from Dave Bradshaw -
27/12/16 Quarry - Teal 3, Little Grebe 9, Mallard 38, Cormorant 3, Long-tailed Tit 12, Wren.
01/01/17 Moffat Country Park - Mute Swan 6 (still has last years young with them), Teal 3 (first time recorded there), Mallard 8, Moorhen 9, Blue Tit 3, Wren, Little Grebe 2.
02/01/17 Beattock village - Long-tailed Tit 10
02/01/17 our reserve - G S Woodpecker 2, Grey Heron, Great Tit 9, Moorhen 2, Mallard 1, Coal Tit 2, Blue Tit 3, Robin 2, Blackbird 3
02/01/17 Quarry - Little Grebe 2, Mallard 8, Teal 5, Cormorant 1, Moorhen 1.

And a selection of Dave's recent photographs:


Barnacle Goose

male Green-winged Teal

male Pintail

Whooper Swan & cygnet

Yellowhammer

Twite ('Heather Linty')

A request from Andy Riches: any further bird reports for Castle Loch or Hightae Loch should be sent to him ASAP. Also any further mammal reports should be sent to him no later than 28th January. This is so that he can complete the recorsd for 2016.
If you don't have contact details for Andy, please give John a shout and he will put you in touch.

Website changes
To free up space for new material, our archived news pages for 2011, 2012 & 2013 are no longer posted on the site. If anyone wishes to refer back to them, please contact John. The pages are still held on our sources although no longer published. Also removed are articles originally published in the printed Newsletters. They too are available on request. Other pages on our site may also be removed or consolidated to free up space. For the more technically minded, we have 100Mb of webspace available. Pictures, as we receive them, can run to quite a few Mb each which is why we reduce their size before publishing - and they can still reach 1Mb each. This does not leave us with a lot of leeway!


All entries for 2016 have been archived. View by clicking here or on menu at left.